Popular books I am yet to read…

1. Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

Everyone has been going on about how amazing this book is but I’ve put off reading because I didn’t enjoy Fangirl. That being said I did enjoy Elenor and Park. I don’t think I like her writing style but perhaps I’ll give it a go sometime.

2. An Ember In The Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

I honestly don’t know why I haven’t read this yet because it sounds amazing and everyone has told me to read it! It’s just always been put to the back of my bookshelf and forgotten about as new books have come out.

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas

If any of you have read my reviews for the Throne of Glass series ( albeit I’ve only read the first 3), then you’ll know how much I loved the series! So I truly cannot answer or understand why I have not read this book yet… but hopefully I’ll get round to it soon enough!

Do any of you struggle with this? Do you buy books and then never get round to reading them even though they seem incredibly good!

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Goodreads – Katerina Turner

These Broken Stars – Aimee Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

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Synopsis – 

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Goodreads Ratings – 3.94/5 Stars 

Review – 

This book is like the Titanic set in space. Two star-crossed lovers, a wealthy and powerful young women that falls in love with a poor commoner. However, in this book, everything begins with a tragedy and goes on to focus on survival. There are however still many events that occur throughout the book that strongly reminded me of the Titanic. 

The chapters move between being Tarver’s POV & Lilac’s POV which sets us up with the idea that these two will be connected in some way through the entire novel.  Lilac LaRoux is a wealthy and powerful young woman and Tarver Merendsen is the youngest war hero of the galaxy. They are introduced to each at first in an awkward manner which initially throws us off course. It takes them a long time to form a good relationship that it realistic, which is lacking in so many YA novels nowadays. It was so refreshing to see two people get to know each other at a realistic pace, first becoming friends and then developing romantic feelings for one another. 

 Lilac and Tarver are both stubborn and condescending but they are both able to show compassion, even if they sometimes struggle with it. They come from different backgrounds, have different skills and different goals, however, due to the tough circumstances and human nature, they develop an understanding of each other. We are presented with two very strong but not unrealistic characters, that towards the end of the book are able to put their differences aside and merge into one. 

The plot was incredibly interesting and had me turning the pages at a rapid pace. I did get slightly confused at times but that was just because some of the events were so unique and out of the blue that it took me a minute to wrap my head around it.  

Aside from having characterized POVs, the start of each chapter began with an extract from an interview with Tarver that took place at the end of the book. It kept giving little clues as to what would happen in the upcoming chapter, as well remind me that Tarver and Lilac had survived and somehow returned to their civilization. 

My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

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Unwind – Neal Shusterman

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Synopsis 

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Goodreads Rating – 4.19/5 Stars 

Review 

Unwind by Neal Shusterman is a spine-chilling novel about a parallel universe where parents of a child between the ages of 13 and 18, can have their child’s organs harvested or ‘unwound’. You’re teen harboring too much teen angst and aggression? No problem! Why don’t you send him over to us and take him apart and sell his organs…

An aspect of this novel that seems to be not far from our own reality are the laws against abortion. However, a parent can leave their child on someone’s doorstep and if they are not caught, the person that finds the child is obliged to keep it. Finders – Keepers, whether you want it or not. 

As you’ve read in the synopsis, the reasons for parents unwinding their children varies from being tired of behavioral problems, being unwanted, religious reasons or pure selfishness. Aside from our main protagonists, there was a boy whose parents died, so his aunt became his guardian and decided to have him unwound so that she could have his inheritance.

There were times in when I was reading this book and it completely broke my heart. The children are portrayed as being strong at times, but we also get to see the true fear that one would experience in such a situation. One thing that I foud unusual was the lack of anger the kids had towards their parents. They blamed the government for having this program, not their own parents for getting rid of them. 

The plot was fast paced and entertain throughout the whole book. The characters were really well developed as they each came from different backgrounds and had individual clear cut personas. It was a great book to read because it makes you think and it actually makes you feel scared for the characters. I was under the illusion that most of the characters were 16 or 17 years old but at the end of the book I found out that Lev, one of the main protagonists was 13, which made him even stronger as a character. 

Lastly… and I always seem to leave this to the last point because I try to note down the positives before stating the negatives. The romance was so out of the blue. There was no lead-up to it, even though it was obvious that it would happen, I couldn’t care less about it. The characters barely knew each other and didn’t interact all that much. Hopefully, it will get better as the series progresses. 

Overall, this was a good book and I would definitely recommend it! 

Rating – 3.5/5 Stars 

Goodreads – Katerina Turner

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The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

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Synopsis – 

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

Goodreads Rating – 4.27/5 Stars 

My Review – 

I have been meaning to read this for a very long time. With all the hype surrounding Alexandra Bracken’s books, I had high expectations, but I’m glad to say that the book was even better than expected. The first half of the book did remind me a little bit of ‘The 5th Wave’, however, it was still an incredibly unique and well-written book. 

This book is well paced and highly addictive.  The stellar character development really helped, as we were introduced to a variety of characters with different backgrounds and personalities. I’ve read way too many books where the characters all seem so similar that they just begin to bore me. Bracken created two similar characters, Ruby and Chubs, and took her time building up their friendship. 

Ruby starts off as a scared and weak child who throughout the book grows into someone who is emotionally strong. Rather than relying on others, people start to rely on her to protect them. This is a little bit cliche but it worked well with the plot, so I don’t really have any complaints. Compared to some other female protagonists (America Singer), she didn’t annoy me that much with her fear and ‘self-hate’. 

Liam, Chubs, and Zu were great. They are all so different yet they work well together. We are presented with 3 characters of different ages, abilities, and backgrounds who are working together to stay alive. Liam is incredibly protective and has a heart of gold, which sometimes puts him in harms way. Chubs is smart and strategic but also loyal to the bone. Zu was a refreshing addition to the novel and she reminds us that they really are kids who have been through hell and back. 

There was so much action throughout the book that I just couldn’t put it down. The romance was cute and the ending broke my heart to the point where I’m conflicted about whether or not I want to read the next book ( but I will). My last point would be that Bracken is incredible at writing antagonist in stories. The dark-minded Oranges of the book are portrayed really well ( new American Horror Story season?). 

I would recommend this to everyone! 

My Rating – 4.5/5 Stars 

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

Kiatana’s Journey – Natalie Erin

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Synopsis – 

Dragons fly, animals can speak and fairies rule over all in the realm they call the Lands, a place that is both beautiful and dangerous. Only one myth remains…Changers, beasts who can morph into any creature at will, and their Accompanies, the mysterious riders who command them. Chaos begins when a Changer called Ionan and his Accompany Keota crash down from the sky. They are found by two orphan wolf pups searching for their mother, and the fairy Kiatana, owner of the Verinian Forest. Kiatana refuses to trust the handsome stranger, or believe the story about his troubled past, but she soon finds she has bigger problems as a plague begins to spread throughout her land, killing all in sight. With no option Kiatana heads out on a quest with Keota, Ionan, the two wolves and her trusty Pegasus to find a cure before the forest is destroyed forever. But danger has a way of finding her, and Kiatana isn’t sure if she’ll survive the road ahead… 

Goodreads Rating – 4.11/5 Stars 

My Review – 

**Disclaimer: I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Upon reading the blurb of this book I was very interested in the plot. Unfortunately, the first half of the book simply confused and bored me. The main protagonist, Kiatana,didn’t seem to have a personality because her character had so little development from the start of the book. She is supposed to take care of the animals and be a ‘Snow White persona’, however her compassion towards animals seems to be patchy. She acts like a typical teen girl, which is why some of the events that occur throughout the book surprised me a little, but more on that later. 

The Changer/Acompany relationship reminded me of ‘The Golden Compass’.  A human and an animal counterpart are bound to each other from birth. It’s actually an interesting relationship and could have been expanded and explained in more detail, which is was… but only in the last 100 pages of the book.

The plot is actually really interesting. I enjoyed the characters fighting battles, meeting new characters and saving ‘the world’. My main issue with this book… and I will admit that I am incredibly picky in this regard, but the romance drove me mad. It came out of nowhere and everything happened so fast. It was very cliché… girl finds boy annoying and then by the end of the book they are together. However the execution of this was awkward and choppy. 

The second half of the book was really good though, so it raised my overall rating of this book. The characters finally became individuals with their own personalities, emotions and thoughts. I would recommend this book to younger readers. There are underlying themes of this book such as friendship, loyalty and forgiveness that are prominent and are always refreshing to see as they send a good message to the readers. 

Overall, It’s a decent quick read book. 

My rating – 3/5 Stars 

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

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Synopsis – 

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Goodreads Rating – 4.16/5 stars 

My Review – 

This was a great book! Personally,  I haven’t read many books concerning alien-invasion, so I didn’t really have expectations in terms of how the aliens would be portrayed. The concept of the aliens having human bodies was interesting ( yes, I know that Stephanie Meyer’s book – The Host has a similar plot). Overall, the book was action packed and entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised by the great character development and the excellent world building, which made the plot seem so realistic, thus making it a fairly popular novel. 


In terms of the romance… It was rushed and felt awkward. I’m incredibly critical of relationships in YA novels so my opinion may oppose  others. 


As mentioned before, the characters are quite realistic both in their emotions and their actions. They act the way I would If I were confronted with tragic events. Of course, there is a hint of hyperbolism throughout the novel but that is too be expected. It is impressive that Yancey was abe to maintain a sense of humanity whilst creating extraterrestrial characters.

In conclusion, this book may seem quite large but I read it within the span of two days and enjoyed every minute of it. Remember that once you have read it there are another two books in the series and a movie to watch. Happy Reading! 

Be sure to let me know what your opinions are about this book in the comments below!

My Rating 4.5/5 Stars

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

 

December TBR

  1. Metamorphosis and other stories – Franz Kafka

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2. The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels

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3. Feed – Mira Grant

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4. The Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken ( Yes I’m on the late train with this one, should have read it years ago.)

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5. Kiatana’s Journey – Natalie Erin ( I am reading this because an author sent it to me, but I have been so busy recently that I have barely read half the book even though I started it over a month ago).

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If you have any recommendations for me or have read any of these books and would like to share your opinions, ask me questions or just chat, please comment and I’ll be sure to reply.

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

 

 

The Queen of the Tearling – Erika Johansen

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Synopsis – 

An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.

Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom’s haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

Long ago, Kelsea’s forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen’s Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.

Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen’s vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen’s Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as “the Fetch.”

Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea’s journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.

Goodreads Rating – 4.02/5 Stars

My Review – 

This book had a slow start and some things didn’t make much sense until much later, which made me a little agitated. That being said, after the first 50-100 pages, I found it impossible to stop reading! I’m looking forward to reading the sequel since I have loads of questions that need answering. I really want to know more about the Sapphire, Kelsea’s parents and the world that this novel is set in.

Kelsea is a surprisingly pleasant character. I’m was relieved that I wasn’t reading about yet another too tough or too sappy teen heroine. She doesn’t always make the right decisions but she accepts defeat with her head held high and treats herself and those around her with a certain level of respect and maturity. In terms of Kelsea’s appearance, she is often described as being plain and a little overweight, which the character herself accepts and forgets, as she realises how awful it is when people are vain and conceited.

Lazarus ( The Mace)  deserves his own paragraph because he really made this book go from being three stars to four. What an incredibly crafted character, full of mischief and secrecy but with incredible loyalty and friendship. There is so much more that I want to know about him and I hope that he remains loyal to Kelsea.

One truly wonderful thing about this novel is that there is no love triangle! There is barely any romance at all… which is actually incredibly refreshing. Lastly, I think I should mention that the reason this book didn’t get five stars was because, in my opinion, the world building needed some serious work. This is supposed to take place in the future, but it feels like it takes place in the Victorian era. Hopefully, it will become clearer in The Invasion of the Tearling.

My Rating – 4/5 stars 

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania 

The Iron Trial – Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

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Goodreads Synopsis –

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

Goodreads Rating – 3,93/5 stars

My Review –

I must admit that I went into this book thinking that it would be childish and boring, however I was pleasantly surprised. In my opinion the cover isn’t great and makes the book seem very juvenile, however upon reading it I believe that it is a good YA novel. Cassandra Clare and Holly Black are yet to disappoint me.

Call, the main character was unique which made him interesting and likeable, which seems rare nowadays with YA as the male protagonist are always “perfect” and frankly quite annoying, but our protagonist is complex and weird which makes him intriguing.

The book was fast paced and contrary to what some may say I was surprised by the ending and the little twist in the plot. Some may say that the entire book was very predictable, however I didn’t see it that way and really enjoyed it.

In terms of friendships, I was pleased that there were no love triangles (yay!), and that romance wasn’t a key part of the book at all, but it looked more at friendship and how characters with very different personalities were able to put their differences and parents beliefs aside and become friends. It some small way the book did remind me of the Percy Jackson series, just because of the awesome friendships within that series and the well paced character development throughout the series.

My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Gooreads – Katerina Turner 

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Paranomalcy – Kiersten White

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Goodreads Synopsis – 

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Goodreads Rating – 3,92/5 Stars

My Review – 

When I first picked up this book I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. Usually when I read books with teen protagonists they are always incredibly whiny and cocky, but Evie was actually a decent and realistic sixteen year old.

It was an incredibly fact paced and entertaining book that didn’t take much thought or concentration and is probably targeted at a middle grade audience. The plot line was interesting as was the world building as it was unique but not overly complex however I do think that some things could have been better explained ( for example the faeries), but overall It was well written. 

Of course there is a love triangle but that is too be expected of most YA books, however I must say that it was a weak triangle… in the sense that from the start you know exactly who the Evie will end up with, which makes the other guy a nuisance. 

My Rating – 3,5/5 Stars 

Goodreads – Katerina Turner 

Instagram – Globalbookmania